C’est Vrai: Marquis de La Fayette was social butterfly during stay in New Orleans

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Under this title the “Daily Advertiser” from Louisiana, United States, published a short article a few days ago about the social calendar of the Marquis de La Fayette while he visited New Orleans in 1825. La Fayette was a French military officer and former aristocrat who participated in both the American and French revolutions, an extremely influential character in the formation of the United States, close friend with George Washington and known for having been an active Freemason. One of the interesting points of note about his social calendar in New Orleans is the fact that he met with local Templars. The existence and activity of branches of the Order in the United States at this epoch had been established, but this is an interesting reference of note.

We transcribe:

“The Marquis de La Fayette stayed only five days in New Orleans, but they were hectic ones, according to a calendar kept at the time:

Monday, April 11, 1825: Received representatives of the legislature and members of the bar. Called on the governor and several ladies. Went to the American Theatre early in the evening and, afterward, to the Theatre d’Orleans.

Tuesday, April 12: Received a delegation of New Orleans Spaniards. Met a deputation of Knights Templars. Received a delegation from the state militia and the Louisiana Legion (whose leaders quarrelled among themselves about protocol). Attended a “brilliant ball” in his honour, followed by a supper attended by hundreds of the New Orleans elite.

Wednesday, April 13: Received visitors, notably priests. Straightened out differences between the leaders of the Militia and Legion. Made more calls on “ladies and distinguished persons.” Viewed a parade and manoeuvres of an artillery battalion at the Place d’Armes (now Jackson Square). In the evening, rode in his carriage around the square twice to the applause of crowds. … Went again to the American Theatre and the Theatre d’Orleans, then to the St. Philip Street Theatre, where he attended another ball.

Thursday, April 14: Attended an evening meeting of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana with brother masons, eating supper with 300 of them. Heard the opera Aline and a piece written especially for the occasion, La Fayette in New Orleans, at the Theatre d’Orleans.

Friday, April 15: Left his apartments at the Cabildo on foot, passing between rows of Legionnaires until he reached Levee Street, where he got into a carriage which carried him to a waiting steamboat for his journey to Baton Rouge and then on up the Mississippi.

By Tim Bradshaw”

Thought you might like to know.

Picture: George Washington and General La Fayette at Mount Vernon